The Benefits of Pueraria Mirifica

A remedy for hot flashes and bone health?
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Pueraria mirifica is a plant used in herbal medicine. Since it contains compounds thought to act as phytoestrogens, Pueraria mirifica is often used in treatment or prevention of conditions linked to menopause-related decreases in estrogen levels (such as osteoporosis).

According to practitioners of Thai medicine (a form of alternative medicine originating in Thailand), Pueraria mirifica offers anti-aging benefits and, therefore, may be effective against aging-related health problems.

Uses for Pueraria Mirifica

In alternative medicine, Pueraria mirifica is touted as a natural remedy for the following health issues:

It's also said to enhance libido, support weight loss, fight wrinkles, and prevent heart disease. Additionally, Pueraria mirifica is purported to promote breast growth and increase breast firmness.

Benefits of Pueraria Mirifica

Here's a look at several findings from scientific studies on the potential health benefits of Pueraria mirifica:

1)  Menopausal Symptoms

Several small studies indicate that Pueraria mirifica may help alleviate some menopausal symptoms.

In a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand in 2004, for instance, Pueraria mirifica appeared to improve vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes and night sweats) in women going through menopause. For the study, 48 women received either 50 mg or 100 mg of Pueraria mirifica once daily for six months.

In evaluating the 37 women who completed the study, researchers found that both groups experienced a decrease in vasomotor symptoms.

In addition, a study published in the journal Menopause in 2007 found that Pueraria mirifica may help treat vaginal dryness (another common menopausal symptom). In their analysis of 71 healthy postmenopausal women given Pueraria mirifica or a placebo for 24 weeks, the study's authors observed that those who received Pueraria mirifica experienced relief of vaginal dryness.

2)  Bone Health

Estrogen plays a key role in regulating bone turnover (a biological process in which old bone is broken down and replaced with new bone). In a study published in Menopause in 2008, researchers found that Pueraria mirifica may help preserve bone health in postmenopausal women by producing an estrogen-like effect on bone turnover rate. The study included 71 women (ages 45 to 60), each of whom was given either Pueraria mirifica or a placebo for 24 weeks.

3)  Heart Health

Preliminary research suggests that Pueraria mirifica may help improve cardiovascular health and reduce heart disease risk in postmenopausal women. In a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand in 2005, for example, tests on rabbits revealed that treatment with Pueraria mirifica helped improve function in the endothelium (the layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels).

Although impaired endothelial function is associated with increased risk for high blood pressure, further research is needed before Pueraria mirifica can be recommended for blood pressure control.


Due to Pueraria mirifica's estrogen-like effects, there's some concern that this herb may be harmful to people with the following health conditions:

What's more, Pueraria mirifica should be used with extreme caution by people with hormone-sensitive conditions (including hormone-dependent cancers like breast cancer and ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids).

Where to Find It

You can find dietary supplements containing Pueraria mirifica in many natural-foods stores and drugstores. Pueraria mirifica supplements can also be purchased online.

Using Pueraria Mirifica for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend Pueraria Mirifica as a treatment for any condition. It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

If you're considering using it, make sure to consult your primary care provider first.


Chandeying V1, Sangthawan M. "Efficacy comparison of Pueraria mirifica (PM) against conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) with/without medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) in the treatment of climacteric symptoms in perimenopausal women: phase III study." J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Sep;90(9):1720-6.

Lamlertkittikul S1, Chandeying V. "Efficacy and safety of Pueraria mirifica (Kwao Kruea Khao) for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms in perimenopausal women: Phase II Study." J Med Assoc Thai. 2004 Jan;87(1):33-40.

Malaivijitnond S. "Medical applications of phytoestrogens from the Thai herb Pueraria mirifica." Front Med. 2012 Mar;6(1):8-21.

Manonai J1, Chittacharoen A, Theppisai U, Theppisai H. "Effect of Pueraria mirifica on vaginal health." Menopause. 2007 Sep-Oct;14(5):919-24.

Manonai J1, Chittacharoen A, Udomsubpayakul U, Theppisai H, Theppisai U. "Effects and safety of Pueraria mirifica on lipid profiles and biochemical markers of bone turnover rates in healthy postmenopausal women." Menopause. 2008 May-Jun;15(3):530-5.

Tiyasatkulkovit W1, Charoenphandhu N, Wongdee K, Thongbunchoo J, Krishnamra N, Malaivijitnond S. "Upregulation of osteoblastic differentiation marker mRNA expression in osteoblast-like UMR106 cells by puerarin and phytoestrogens from Pueraria mirifica." Phytomedicine. 2012 Oct 15;19(13):1147-55.

Urasopon N1, Hamada Y, Asaoka K, Cherdshewasart W, Malaivijitnond S. "Pueraria mirifica, a phytoestrogen-rich herb, prevents bone loss in orchidectomized rats." Maturitas. 2007 Mar 20;56(3):322-31.

Urasopon N1, Hamada Y, Cherdshewasart W, Malaivijitnond S. "Preventive effects of Pueraria mirifica on bone loss in ovariectomized rats." Maturitas. 2008 Feb 20;59(2):137-48.

Wattanapitayakul SK1, Chularojmontri L, Srichirat S. "Effects of Pueraria mirifica on vascular function of ovariectomized rabbits." J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Jun;88 Suppl 1:S21-9.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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